Happy 74th Birthday, Pappy!

Happy Birthday to my Pappy! He’s 74 today, but having his 14th birthday with Jesus.
He has my mom and baby brother with him, as well as many other family & friends.
My birthday present to him is remembering what a good man he was.

navydad

He served in the Navy during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
He was on one of the ships held hostage/in the crossfire
of Cuba and America’s famous standoff.
He was up every single day by 5am until he had lung surgery in 2003.

young dad

He worked hard, took care of his wife and family,
including those he took in as family,
and did whatever it took to make sure they were OK.
He was a very active and loving granddad to Anthoni.

grandparents

He gave his all to his family,
and towards his latter years to His heavenly father.
His pastor was his buddy.

310985_284043214943883_1883253_n

Thank you, Dad, for all that you did for us (your family)!
Thank you for being a man my son could look up to and count on.
Thank you for your unconditional love.
It helped me to see a very valuable side of our Father in heaven…
how much He loves us, His patience, His mercy, His grace,
and leaving His wisdom for us to grow in.

ts

Thank you, Father God, for giving me the dad I had!
For giving Anthoni the granddad he had!
And for all the love and sweat you helped my daddy with
in providing for and caring for his family!
I sure do miss him. So much it hurts. I miss mom and Charlie too!
But I know you are taking care of them, and that I will see them again… SOON! ❤

Happy Birthday, Pappy! I love and Miss you!! ❤

Sunshine Blogger Award 1.31.18

Dear Lord, How lovingly kind You continue to be to me… to this blog You thoughtfully allowed me! Here I pour out my love to You, as much as possible, as I would anywhere You will allow… yet You shine Your light of love all over. Thank You for allowing Lovely A to continuously be that ray of sunshine You send my way, by nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Thank You for the never ending ray of Light that Your Son shines in my life! ❤ Thank you for all the ways You shine Your light! ❤
sunshine-blogger-award

Lovely Anita, Thank you for the nomination of this Sunshine Blogger Award. You are always so generous and thoughtful to me. God has gifted you in helping others with Discovering Your Happiness. How rich your blog has grown, as you continue to seek Him first. He’s been there all along, and He’ll never leave you! He loves you! ❤ And so do I! ❤
If you don’t mind I want to share this in memory of another ray of God’s sunshine.


Mr-Spence-450x450Willie S. was a very godly man whom God used in the life of many. My son and I met him as my son’s principal at his Christian School, which was also a part of the church we attended. Through the years, we were blessed to become friends with him, his beautiful wife, and his loving daughters. He passed away the day before I was nominated for this award. That day had a lot of challenges in it, but I was finding God’s rays of sunshine all over the place (and I am going to nominate those rays). It was not until later when I got to the computer… to finally catch a breath from that day… to accept the award and nominate others… that I read the sad news.
I took a long pause and prayed it wasn’t so. But it was. I’m surprised in some ways that it meant so much… to have to take a couple of hours to even move from where I was. I thought about his dear family, and how invaluable they have each been… to me… my  son… my family… our friends… and so many. How hard and faithful my stepdad and I (along with family quite often) had been praying for him. We were so hopeful. But our loss is his gain, as I posted in The Loss and Gain of a Godly Man. They each have shone a strong ray of God’s light into our lives. So may the Lord allow this to be a candle for Willie S. and his family. Ψ


The Rules:

  • Thank blogger(s) who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or blog

Questions I Am To Answer:

What would you do on a rainy day? enjoy it from an open window, or open porch.

Coffee or Hot Chocolate? hot cocoa <3

Safari Holiday or Tropical Island Holiday? Tropical Island Holiday

Whats one experience that has changed your life? salvation ❤

What is your hidden talent? writing/poetry 😉

What is one thing that people don’t know about you? I was a cheerleader for 3 years. 🙂

Bananas or Apples? Both 🙂

What is your dream job? whatever pleases God/Lord willing, writing for Him

How do you de-stress? prayer/hymns/alone time with God

What is your bedtime routine? falling asleep at the computer 😉

What is your favourite candle scent? lavender


My Nominees:

  1. Lovely Anita of Discovering Your Happiness
    Your nominations are always God’s personal whispers! (If I can for you too, I do!)
  2. Lene of Wrestling with Faith – Dancing with Jesus
    You made my day! Your surprise came that morning and prepared me for my day!
  3. Hayley of Red Letters
    Your CDs arrived the next day. God’s perfect timing!
  4. Pat of Beholding Him Ministries
    Thank you for the hugs and prayers!
  5. Rach of The Faithful Mommy
    Thank you for the Big Love and Prayers!
  6. Pastor’s Wife of Created and Called
    Thank your for your kind and encouraging words in your Liebster post! ❤
  7. Harotian Essentials
    Thank you for your loving kindness on your Awesome Blogger Award post!
  8. This Beautiful Life
    Thank you for the words of blessings! They flow both ways!
  9. Not Easily Broken
    My Sister in the King! What words of life you speak! Thank you for being you!
  10. Brenda of Becoming His Tapestry
    Praise the Lord indeed for His taking out the guesswork! 😉
  11. Deborah Ann of Chrisitan Poetry – by Deborah Ann
    Hallelujah! Our Savior does surely live! Thank you for the blessings!
  12. Mary Ann of Pennies for Dreams
    It is a wonderful blessing to have a child who serves the Lord! God is SO good!

Yes… I can count! But just in case it seems unfair to renominate the one who nominated me, and to keep her from feeling bad about my doing that, I added one more!
There are rays of God’s sunshine all over WordPress! I thank God for each of you! 🙂


My Questions for My Nominees:

  1. Is the sun shining in your neighborhood today?
  2. What do you like to do on a sunny day?
  3. Who has brought sunshine into your life?
  4. What’s your favorite flower?
  5. Do you have a favorite verse/quote regarding sunshine?
  6. What food(s) remind(s) you of sunshine?
  7. Have you visited Discovering Your Happiness?
  8. Have you ever tried Sunny D orange juice?
  9. Have you ever tried Sun Drop soda?
  10. Do you like Sunflowers?
  11. Do you like eating sunflower seeds?

PRAISE THE LORD AND CONGRATS ON YOUR SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD!
Please do not feel obligated to participate, nor rush if you do!
Do it in God’s perfect timing!
I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your ray of sunshine! 🙂
Me and God love you! ❤

GOD BLESS YOU, WILLIE S. AND YOUR WHOLE FAMILY!
❤ I HOPE YOU KNOW HOW MUCH YOU MEAN TO US!

The Loss and Gain of a Godly Man

Lord, my heart is broken… for the loss of a friend… for the heartache that his precious daughters and lovely wife (who are also dear friends) are bearing… because a good and godly man lost his battle to Lymphoma. Willie S. was such a patient, thoughtful, good-hearted man. He made a huge impact on the life of my son and I. He was Anthoni’s principal in junior high through high school. This was a christian school with the same church we were all a part of.

He put up with a lot dealing with my family, while being patient, forgiving, compassionate, wise, and able to calm very ugly situations. A godly mediator gifted with wisdom and discernment, and favor… with God… and our family. Irene (who passed away in 2016) was grateful to him for leading her son to the Lord, and being so influential that her son cut his hair, shaved, and cleaned up, wanting to be a good example like the one who lead him to the Lord and made him feel so welcome.

His lovely wife has been just as loving and godly, a prayer warrior with a heart for others. We are blessed to be friends with her as well. And her precious daughters. There just doesn’t seem a word capable of describing how much I value their friendship. Role  models, shoulders to cry on, to cry with, to laugh with, to celebrate with, to worship and pray with. Personal challenges that we got through together. I hate to know they grieve. They loved their dad. They were a very close family. And praise God a family of faith!

This is what brings me comfort… to know that their dad has not lost a battle… he lost the ability to feel pain! Forever! The Great Physician gave him perfect healing! He did not lose… he gained! He gained perfect health, eternal life, and a mansion that Jesus went away to prepare for him and promised to come again and receive him unto Himself… and Jesus kept His promise! His wife and daughters have gained a new hope in heaven… a new motivation to long for heaven… a new encouragement that pain and suffering does not last forever… and that just when it seems like life is only about loss, Jesus will bring permanent gain! He will be faithful to keep His promise. And they will see Willie S. again!

Spence1

So I take comfort in knowing they have the Comforter embracing them as only He can. The one who suffered His own loss in Lazarus and in John the Baptist knows the grief they are stricken with. That is why He left His Word, His hymns, and His church, and the access to His own presence. His arms are open wide to welcome them any time… and closed so gently when holding them as tight as they need! Thank You, Father, for granting His gain, and for strengthening their hope with a peace that passes all understanding… but not Yours! ❤